While we can’t all swim like Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky, we do enjoy a poolside barbeque. While we’re no Simone Biles when it comes to flexibility or coordination, we’ve been known to cut the rug a little. While we’re never going to medal in an Olympic event, we sure do enjoy watching them. What could possibly pair better with U.S. Olympic gold medal worthy performances than three medal worthy wines from a growing region in the far southern reaches of Brazil?
In the late 19th century families from Italy immigrated to Brazil and in the mountainous region of Sierra Gaúcha they found a place that reminded them of the vineyard heavy regions of their homeland. Sierra Gaúcha is incredibly cool and temperate and quite rainy, none the less, families like the Carraro family who moved to the region in 1875 have found in these rolling hills a place that allows them to make wonderful wines from Brazil.
2013 Lidio Carraro Dádivas Chardonnay, Brazil $15
Made from two different clones of Chardonnay this wine is opulent and round without any use of oak barrels. Aromas of chamomile, apple blossom and pineapple, and a palate that is round and ripe with flavors of sweet hay, cut apple and plenty of texture and mouth filling viscosity.
2014 Lidio Carraro Agnus Merlot, Brazil $12
From the growing region of Encruzilhada do Sul and a tiny four acre vineyard. This Merlot is an exercise in highlighting the fruit character of the region. Also fermented and aged in steel the aromas are cut strawberry and blueberry compote, along with notes of turned earth. The palate is an emphasis on fruit purity, with a bright core of blue fruit, notes of clove and outstanding tannin.
2014 Lidio Carraro Agnus Tannat, Brazil $12
Tannat is generally an uber-tannic grape that can often times produce nearly unapproachable wines. This bottling however shows that even in youth, the Tannat from this part of Brazil makes for very drinkable, well structured wine. This wine is aged in barrel and that helps mellow a bit of the grape tannin and this wine takes on aromas of espresso, blackberry and dusty cherry. The palate is rich and round with lots of dark fruits and cocoa powder and opulence.